The World’s First Bridal Shower

Asian Wedding Preparations

With Christina Hendricks sporting bridal mehndi on her wedding day and Katharine McPhee showing up on red carpets in henna tattoos, it’s safe to say that the ancient practice of henna (or as it is traditionally known, mehndi) has gone mainstream.

While the ritual has only gained popularity in the West in the last couple of decades, mehndi has long been an integral pre-wedding ritual for any South Asian bride, dating back to as early as the 15th century, when Mughal rulers first brought mehndi plants to the region.

As modern South Asian brides continue to find ways to meld traditional rituals with contemporary practices, the spirit of female bonding and pre-wedding sisterhood during a mehndi ceremony is as significant today as it was five thousand years ago, and is likely to continue to remain significant for centuries to come.


Jonathan and Sameera first met 8 years ago while working together as medical students in London. Their wedding was a beautiful ode to both Jonathan and Sameera’s cultures and traditions. Their church ceremony took place at the stunning St Bartholomew, West Smithfield, City of London, which was followed by the reception at Trinty House, Tower Hill. The Mehndi was hosted by Sameera’s family with BLACKLOTUSPROJECT creating the beautiful, colourful, exotic ambiance.

With such a rich colour palette, it was joyous work creating drama and presence in the large barn space. Catering was traditional North Indian fair which included an array of sweet treats along with a 5 course meal! Special guest musicians were secured and flown in from India to play at the event. Jonathan even spent a month beforehand learning a dance routine set to a Bollywood song and wowed guests on the night!


On-the-day management of the event was overseen by our event manager and a team of 20. From dressing the venue to coordinating the waiting and bar staff, cloakroom management, kitchen management and food service, stage management and clear up was undertaken by the team at BLACKLOTUSPROJECT.

The service we received from BLACKLOTUSPROJECT was outstanding, from the initial meeting, to the end of the event. They were helpful with suggestions, but was able to maintain respect for the budget and personal preferences. I was able to communicate concerns and changes with them with ease, due to Yvonne’s friendly and open nature. The decor on the Mehndi Night was beautiful!! I was more than happy with the service I received, and would recommend BLACKLOTUSPROJECT without a doubt.
Testimonial by Sameera Shah-Thompson MSc, FRCS (Orth)
Sameera Shah-Thompson MSc, FRCS (Orth)